My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - on and off over 4 days
Publisher - Seventh Street Books
Pages - 320
Source - Review copy, author
Blurb from Goodreads
Detective Joe "Preach" Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children.
No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina--a bohemian community near Chapel Hill--than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer's community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed--and one or both of them may be his next target.
Preach is back in his hometown, with quite an impressive past behind him he is now a cop and a crime needs solved. Preach has to deal with his past, leaving his people and problems, being a priest and now returned a police officer. The killer is smart ^ the crime scene mirrors that of a famous book, what is the message and why did they kill that particular person? With the help of Ariana who works in the bookstore, the bookstore where the murder happened, together they have to piece it together.
This is a very mixed bag to be honest, I loved the authors turns of phrase, I find because I read so much I see and hear a lot of the same terms. I loved the crime scenes that brought about other famous works and authors, in fact I went off and bought one after reading some of the stuff mentioned in the book. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, for your information, only 49p on Amazon kindle at time of posting. The crimes are clever as are the references and there is subtle humour throughout the book. There are also kickbacks to Preach's past, his breakdown and the case that caused it, the strained family history and the conflicting feelings he has whilst working the case.
It is a busy wee book and I felt it could have been so much longer and gave more scope and depth to Preach, his past and the decisions that followed rather than small reflections. I guess it is a testament to the authors writing that he has left the reader absolutely wanting more. I hope he does a throwback book and takes us back to Preach, the case that near broke him and his journey through Priesthood until going into being a man of the law. I think that would work really well and probably give more scope for enjoyment with this book. I found I just had a fair few questions I would have liked answered in relation to Preach's past and what made him who he is now.
The pace is good although I felt the end came far too quickly, I absolutely wanted more. This was my first time reading this author although I see he has written quite a lot prior to this, I will be seeking out more of his work. 3.5 stars for me for this one, thanks to the author for introducing me to his work, it will not be our last dance. Written in Blood is out to buy now in ebook and treebook format.